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Checking in on the annual Yooper car plunge

Feb 9, 2017

It's the heart of winter, and there you are in the heart of the Upper Peninsula, wanting to raise some money for the community.

If you're the Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford, you embrace the winter and come up with a pretty unique fundraiser: the Car Plunge Contest.

Jayna Huotari, secretary of the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Rotary Club, joined Stateside to talk about the third annual contest, including how placing bets on when a 1998 Saturn will fall through the ice became a fun, and successful, fundraiser.

"One of our members donated a car to the club," Huotari said. "We had the car brought to a local vocational education center and the students in several of the classes stripped the car of all of its parts ... there's no fluids ... and it was painted a bright color so that it can be seen from quite a distance. And we placed it on the ice of something local here called Chapin Pit, which is actually a caved-in mine."

It looks like a deep lake, but Huotari said the locals just call it a "pit."

They have a webcam pointed at the car so that people who have placed their bets, both locally and around the state, can keep tabs on it. On the rotary club's website, you can make three guesses as to when the car will fall through the ice for $10. The person whose guess is the closest will win $2,000. 

Listen to the full interview above to hear how much money has been raised in the last couple years, what the money is being used for, and more.

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